Violence Against Women Primary Database
October, 07 2010
It is almost impossible to define the suffering which results from gender-based violence throughout the world in human terms. Unfortunately despite universal condemnation of such practices, they continue and the cost in lives, productivity, family values, and the denial of women and girls' rights to liberty and happiness is difficult to measure.
One of the main objectives of the VAW primary database project is to measure, through documentation, violence against women in Afghanistan. MOWA and its supporting partners seek to go beyond merely measuring violence through documentation. They also seek to raise public awareness at all levels of society, from policy-makers and legislators to sub-national government to the most important group-the family unit. Elimination of violence begins in the family, which is the fundamental basis of society. Thus, our work must commence within each family to realize substantial decreases in levels of violence against women.
In addition to raising awareness about the crisis of gender-based violence, another primary objective for government is to provide mechanisms and structures from which women and girls can seek help when they are targets of violence. For this reason, the government with assistance from the international community, has supported increased numbers of women's shelters, legal aid organizations, health clinics, referral centers--all aimed at providing services for victimized women and girls. The primary VAW database is the mechanism established by the MOWA to collect data from the ever increasing range of potential reporting agencies/organizations, all of which are working on behalf of women's and girls' security concerns.
During the next year, the database format and recording mechanisms will be reviewed and improved upon to reflect the changing times and needs. However, the information available in the current publication is still relevant, timely and valuable for policy-makers, legislators, law enforcement, and the judiciary amongst others, to utilize as each duty bearer and stakeholder moves forward in efforts to eliminate violence against women.
For example, to the extent that the draft Elimination of Violence against Women law is being considered, the information contained herein should be used to better inform lawmakers of the reality of violence faced by women and girls. This publication is a vital tool that can be used every year as new police officers are trained, family responses units are expanded, gender units within the Saranwal are formed, and new organizations are opening to provide women with services.
In addition to providing quantitative and qualitative analysis of the nature and types of violence against women, this second publication provides more vivid documentation of individual cases by including more case studies than were in the first publication.
Numbers, graphs and statistical analysis are significant research tools and summarized case studies add more depth to understanding the enormity of the problem. While it is not possible to summarize every one of the over 1940 cases reported during this time period, it is hoped that by providing a selection of case studies the quantitative analysis will take on more significance.
This work is on-going and having commenced in 2006 has not and will not cease. Rather, it is hoped that next year every province will be counted as a reporting province, that information collected will provide more specific details and most importantly, that follow-up of reported cases will become the rule rather than the exception. The MOWA, other duty bearers and stakeholders are cognizant that as government collectively encourages women to come forward and report violence, there is a corresponding duty and obligation upon all government and civil society to provide victims of violence with services and protection, to break the cycle of violence and to provide options. The MOWA's commitment through publication of this report is to further this obligation to protect women and girls from violence in all forms in this country.
Download file for more information: VAW English after Minister comments.doc